Annual Service Events

Common Good Day

Instituted to exemplify former President McKeen's vision for a college that served the common good, Common Good Day has become a yearly tradition at Bowdoin College, fostering collaboration among members of the Bowdoin community, nonprofit agencies, and municipal organizations in the greater Brunswick area. Created in 1999, each year over 500 students, faculty, staff, Bowdoin friends, and alumni volunteer for projects such as gardening, trail maintenance, visiting local retirement homes, painting, yard work, and spending time with kids from the community.

Join us for Bowdoin’s 21st Annual Common Good Day!

Bowdoin’s 21st Annual Common Good Day will take place on Saturday, September 21st from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Join 500 of your fellow students, faculty, staff and alumni to learn about and connect with your local community. Dozens of partner organizations will host projects, including outdoor cleanup, painting, office support, spending time with seniors and children, and much more. All participants will receive lunch, great memories, and the opportunity to engage with the Midcoast Maine community! First time participants will also receive a free t-shirt!

How do I get involved? You can participate as a driver, a project volunteer, or both. You can also sign up with a group or as an individual. Read on for details!

Van Drivers. Are you certified, or interested in becoming certified, to drive Bowdoin vehicles? If you can help on Common Good Day, let us know with this quick form.

Ready for Anything? Sign up to join the Karma List, and be assigned wherever the need is greatest on the morning of CGD. Once individual sign-ups are open, choose “Common Good Day” from the dropdown menu to get to the Karma List.

Student GROUPS. Submissions will be accepted from 11:59 pm on Wednesday 9/4 until 11:59 pm on Sunday 9/8. Just download our group signup template, fill in all the information for all participants and send your completed spreadsheet to

Note: We are only able to honor group requests that correctly follow this procedure. Groups are assigned to projects by CGD staff, based mostly on size.  We will need to split up some larger groups to accommodate everyone. Thank you for your help.

INDIVIDUAL students. Sign-up for particular projects will be available from 11:59 pm on Tuesday 9/10 until 11:59 pm on Monday 9/16. All projects will be listed on the Online Signup Tool. Choose “Common Good Day” from the dropdown menu and sign in to see the projects.

FACULTY, STAFF and ALUMNI. Our quick Staff-Faculty-local Alumni Signup Form allows you to include friends or family and indicate the type of service that works best for you. Sign up by Wednesday 9/18.

For more information contact Andrew Lardie.

Sponsor a Family

Sponsor a Family is organized annually by the Salvation Army and is available to any low-income family in need of assistance in purchasing gifts for their children and providing a holiday dinner. The Salvation Army looks to members of the community to sponsor a family and make their holiday season a bit brighter. On average, Bowdoin College adopts 30 or more families, which range in size from 2-9 members. Athletic teams, college houses, academic departments, and college offices are all encouraged to participate in the program. The Salvation Army is a Christian organization, but they welcome all low-income families seeking holiday assistance to join the program, regardless of religion.

For more information contact Shawn Gerwig.

Dance Marathon

Organized by a student-run organization on campus, this event partners with the Children's Miracle Network to raise money for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland. In its inaugural year, Dance Marathon engaged dozens of student groups and individuals to raise more than $15,000.

For more information contact Andrew Lardie.

Eco-Service Day

Eco-Service Day kicks off the college's annual Earth Week. Organized by Sustainable Bowdoin, Eco-Service Day provides a wide variety of outdoor service options each spring for students ready to get outdoors. Projects include gardening, trail building and maintenance, beach clean-up, and environmental education.

For more information contact Keisha Payson.